McConnell refusing FEC request for donor information

Bob McConnell: lost Republican primary for Congress

The Steamboat Springs man who lost the Republican primary for the 3rd Congressional District said he will commit his “first act of civil disobedience” in responding to a request by the Federal Election Commission.

Bob McConnell, who lost to fellow Republican Scott Tipton in their contest to challenge U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., said the commission wrote to him demanding that he provide more information about campaign donors who described themselves as “plumber, self-employed/business owner,” “diesel truck repair shop operator,” “self-employed/executive,” and “self-employed/innkeeper.”

“Each of these entries was taken from a standard FEC form provided to my contributors,” McConnell wrote in an e-mail. “I have now been told that I ‘must provide the missing information,’ or demonstrate my ‘best efforts’ to obtain the information.”

The deadline for his explanation is Sept. 23, and McConnell said he’ll tell the agency he’s done all he plans to do.

“I am going to become peacefully civil disobedient,” McConnell wrote. “I will respond to the FEC that I do not recognize this demand as legally enforceable. This is unconstitutional in so many ways that I’ve lost count.”

Only Congress, not one of the agencies of the federal government, can authorize the laws under which he can face an enforcement action, McConnell said.

The response to his e-mail announcement garnered “the biggest response to any e-mail since I announced my candidacy,” both from regular contacts and people he didn’t know, McConnell said.

The letter refers to no U.S. Code passed by Congress, but only to commission regulations, which aren’t authorized by the Constitution, McConnell wrote, adding, “From this day forward, I will not obey any law that is unconstitutional.”


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